WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When you think of a nightclub images of flashing lights, loud music, dancing, and a 2 a.m. closing time pop into your head, not a small wine shop where everyone knows your name.
A Wilmington Wine shop is being cited for operating as a nightclub.
Chrissy Bonney, owner of Wilmington Wine, said a zoning code by the city of Wilmington classifies Castle Street under a Main Street Mixed Use (MSMU) Zoning Code which means the area can only house residential and retail spaces.
Because Wilmington Wine serves alcohol on site, the business was slapped with a citation. Wilmington Wine will either be forced to change their operation or move the establishment.
Bonney said she will work with the city to help re-categorize her business to a retail shop, which is how it is recognized by the state of North Carolina's Alcohol & Beverage Commission.
"We don't fit into a tidy definition of what they allow in this district," said Bonney. Without the tasting element to the shop, she could reconsider her location, "It's a very integral part in getting to know our customers and differentiate us from the grocery stores. If we can't do that anymore, Castle Street might not be the place for us."
Bonney is hopeful the city will reconsider at an appeals hearing in June. She has over 700 signatures on a petition in support of Wilmington Wine and its operation.